Voting Rights Abroad


“Diffusion of Diaspora Enfranchisement Norms: A Multinational Study”, an article Dr. Anca Turcu co-authored with Dr. Robert Urbatsch of Iowa State University, was recently published by Comparative Political Studies.  It examines why states decide to grant voting rights to their citizens overseas. Traditional accounts of franchise extension suggest that governments’ motivations are either political or materialist. Though these factors doubtless matter, they overlook the tendency for liberal norms to diffuse through the international system, as competition with and learning from neighbors motivate the adoption of relevant policies and institutions. The authors use large-N cross-national hazard models to examine whether a similar pattern holds for diaspora enfranchisement, and find that neighbors’ recent enactment of overseas voting nearly doubles the chance that a country will enfranchise its own diaspora. This suggests a role for international norms in determining national voting policies.

The article can be read here.

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